A strange name? Hundreds of years ago there were right and wrong whales to hunt. The ‘right’ type of whale floated when killed.
The Southern Right Whale was found south of the equator. There is a Northern Right Whale as well. Both species have are protected from hunting – although not many nations hunt whales anymore, maybe only Norway and Japan?
The Japanese are still active but they seek Minke whales. A smaller whale. The hunting is done under the disguise of science.
It’s a hot environmental issue in Australia -also how to change a Japanese tradition in disputed southern waters which Australia claims ownership or protection of. Solutions seem far away.
The more hot the issue the more revenue that can be raised for anti-whaling campaigns. The media get benefits too. More newspaper and magazine sales.
Politicians also use the issue to embarrass and mislead the public about those in power, knowing a stop whaling solution is never easily negotiated.
Should anyone try to tell Japanese what is right or wrong with their traditions?
Meanwhile the whale population migrating north for winter along the east Australian coast looks strong with fifty Southern Right and Humpback whales sighted and counted yesterday, south of Sydney.
In 1967 when we jumped into the sea of Sydney Heads to get the above picture, whales were so rare people knew little to nothing of them. This rare whale was traveling south back to the Southern Sea and Antarctica.
Underwater pictures were unknown apart from just a couple of examples taken from movie film.
Making any appreciation of the Southern Right Whale more difficult is their unusual mouth which curves in reverse. In other words, it’s upside down.
At the time I took what was thought to be extreme risk in photographing such a creature. All we knew about whales was they swallowed people whole! It would be years before I learned this species is the most docile of all.
Whales make good tourist attractions for above water viewing. Boats are prevented from motoring close to a whale. They stop engines and hope the whale will approach the boat – which often happens to the delight of passengers.
Hervey Bay just north from Brisbane is where many of the whales congregate. Heaps of boats service the whale watching tourist businesses there.